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Never Give A Clinton An Even Break

WorldNetDaily’s coverage of the attempt to disbar President Clinton is littered with one-sided stories and gaping holes.

By Terry Krepel
Posted: 5/11/2000

No one was expecting balanced coverage from WorldNetDaily on the attempt to pull President Clinton’s law license. Clinton has declined to release the documents he has filed in the matter, all but inviting veteran Clinton-bashers like WorldNetDaily to pile on the hate without fear of being contradicted by the facts.

Given that, it is important to note what “investigative journalist” David M. Bresnahan doesn’t investigate in his stories on the issue.

Let’s start with the Southeastern Legal Foundation, the group bringing the action. Bresnahan refers to the group as “a public interest, non-profit law firm.” He neglects to mention that the group is a favorite receptacle of cash -- $150,000 in 1998 alone -- from billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, funder of many anti-Clinton efforts. Matthew Glavin, president of the foundation, says Scaife is among the group’s top 10 annual donors but refuses to release more specific numbers or exactly where Scaife is on the list.

And on the subject of Scaife, WorldNetDaily began life as an arm of the Western Journalism Center, another past recipient of Scaife money -- $330,000 in 1994-95. Joseph Farah, editor/CEO of WorldNetDaily, co-founded the Western Journalism Center and was its executive director, but says he has had no formal, official connection with it since October 1999.

WorldNetDaily also never mentions that L. Lynn Hogue, through whose standing as an Arkansas-licensed attorney the action against Clinton was filed, is chairman of the Southeastern Legal Foundation’s legal advisory board and the group's former general counsel. Not exactly the altruistic attorney who is quoted in Bresnahan’s May 5 story as saying he “thought it was important to step forward and say this man has to be held to account.”

Note the date of that story, May 5. The Southeastern Legal Foundation received its copy of Clinton’s response to the charges on April 28, which resulted in a WorldNetDaily story the next day. The foundation filed its rebuttal on May 8. So what happened on May 5 to warrant a story?

Nothing. The May 5 story is essentially a rehash of the April 29 story with a few more details because “WorldNetDaily has learned about the general content of Clinton’s defense” and because the story quotes Hogue instead of Glavin. Considering that the only people releasing any sort of content relating to Clinton’s defense are from the Southeastern Legal Foundation, it’s not exactly a scoop that WorldNetDaily “learned the general content.” They learned that on April 29. The May 5 story is a one-source, one-sided story that adds nothing and does nothing.

Speaking of one-sided, Bresnahan can’t even be bothered to get a response from Clinton or his attorney, David Kendall, for any of these three stories. The only sources for the stories are Glavin, Hogue and, for some unknown reason, Georgia congressman Bob Barr.

For the record, here’s what Kendall had to say in a statement released after the rebuttal was filed, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

“The foundation isn’t interested in issues relating to Arkansas lawyers and legal services; it’s just interested in attacking the president in any way it can. ... Richard Scaife gives the foundation money, and Kenneth Starr helps raise money for it. (Starr spoke at a recent fund-raiser.) Releasing its papers to the public is just another part of the long-running partisan mudslinging campaign against the president."

WorldNetDaily considers itself, among other things, as an “exponent of truth and an uncompromising disseminator of news.” The Clinton-disbarment series shows it’s failing at both.

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